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How to Achieve a Winter Glow From The Inside Out
By Nikolina Ilic | Jul 12, 2021
Winter can be cosy. Beautiful boots, layers and coats. Not to mention roaring fires, and hearty comfort food. On the other hand, the colder months also comes with its own myriad of health and beauty woes.
You know the main ones: skin so dry and scaly it completely changes your complexion, or lips so cracked you can’t even entertain half your favourite lipstick shades. And let’s not forget flu season, where the snotty andRudolph-like nose is only surpassed by the debilitating body aches andpains that sees Netflix and the tissue box become your overnight best friends.
However, to help you achieve your own winter glow from the inside out, Women’s Health chatted to GP and health advocate, Dr Michela Sorensen about the best medical remedies to see you through the cold season:
1. Don’t think skin-deep
Winter weather and dry skin go hand in hand, but as well as your standard moisturising routine there’s more you can do. If you’re not hydrated, how can you expect your skin to be?
Water plays a major role in supporting your body’s natural functions, including keeping skin cells plump…so drink up! On average you should be aiming for 8-10 glasses of water per day, which is around 2-2.5L.
Combine your hydration with a good nutritious diet – focusing on sources of Vitamin A and E will really help your body produce firm, healthy skin tissue. It is important toremember to only eat the recommended dose of these vitamins however, as too much can cause other problems, especially with your liver. Aim for 700mcg of Vitamin A and 15mg of Vitamin E per day.
2. Better than lip-service
Curbing chapped lips in winter weather isn’t easy, but the best thing you can do is boost your body’s natural skin’s elasticity and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a great reason to keep up your favourite smashed avo breakfast habit. Good fats can do great things, and supporting healthy skin is one of those. In fact, Omega-3 is an excellent fatty acid, so go ahead and add some smoked wild salmon to that avocado order come Sunday brunch. Salmon is also stacked with selenium – an inflammatory reducing antioxidant, which also supports your immune system.
3. Shoot through without flu
Speaking of your immune system…there’s nothing fun or attractive about attracting the flu. Of course, vaccination is the best way to ward off this virus, but what you may not know is that there are ways you can bolster its effectiveness and longevity, giving you added armour against the dreaded winter bugs.
For example, scientific studies show us that taking a course of probiotics which contains the two specific strains LGG and BB-12 will improve flu vaccine effectiveness by up to 20%. So it’s first really important that you do go and get your annual flu jab, but when you do, chat to your GP about how a course of probiotics containing these two strains can support your shot and help you achieve a flu-free winter.
4. More than just gut health
And speaking of probiotics…they really could really be considered winter’s magic pill. While the benefits of probiotics on gut health are well known, there’s a wealth of studies showing just how far reaching the benefits are. For example, probiotics have been shown to strengthen immunity by enriching and replenishing the good bacteria in the body andinhibiting the growth of bad bacteria – so it’s another great way tohelp keep the winter bugs at bay and put your best foot forward.
They can also help support emotional health by reducing the body’s stress response and positively affecting cognitive function. And they can also affect the skin’s microbiome, helping to clear up skin-related issues like eczema, which in turn helps to promote clearer complexions.
So glow on! Let’s forget all about the winter blues and embrace your best winter-self instead.
Nikolina is the new web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men\'s and Women\'s Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has a mean punch inside and out of the ring. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.
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